What’s life like for young Black men in London today – and how has it changed since the 1980s? What can be done to support them, and to open up new ways of being a man? Find out more in this conversation with Owen Thomas, Head of Programmes with Fathers at the charity Future Men, where he has worked for over 15 years.
Some of the issues we cover in this episode of Now and Men include:
- Why Owen was invited to the G7 to talk to the Duchess of Cambridge and Jill Biden about Future Men’s work with fathers.
- Owen’s experiences of growing up and learning about what it means to be a man in Brixton in the 1980s and 1990s.
- The struggles and new opportunities around being a father during the pandemic.
- The work that Future Men do and how they seek to foster new, healthier models of masculinity.
- The Black Lives Matter movement, and the impacts of racism on Future Men staff and the men and boys they work with.
- The challenges that young men in London are facing now and in the future, from extreme wealth inequalities, to gentrification, to gang violence - and how young people are creating social change in the face of this.
We apologise for the background noise during the first part of the episode – Future Men’s office is near a school and the children were obviously having their break at the same time we were recording!
Find out more about the work of Future Men at http://futuremen.org. You can follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FutureMenUK, Facebook at https://facebook.com/FutureMenCharity/, and LinkedIn at https://linkedin.com/company/future-men-charity.
- Future Men chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood, which you can read more about at: https://futuremen.org/appg-on-fatherhood/
- Early on in the episode Owen mentions the uprisings against racism in 1981, 1985 and 1995. These are sometimes described as the Brixton riots, and you can read more about them here: https://theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/11/brixton-riots-40-years-on-a-watershed-moment-for-race-relations and here: https://runnymedetrust.org/histories/index.html
- Towards the end of the episode Owen refers to the killing of the former footballer Dalian Atkinson by a police officer, which you can learn more about here: https://theconversation.com/dalian-atkinson-manslaughter-conviction-for-pc-but-justice-for-police-violence-remains-elusive-163457
- Early on in the episode the following acronyms are used: ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) and GLC (Greater London Council).
If you have any questions or comments about this or future episodes of Now and Men, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.